HOPER, Thomas, of Barnstaple, Devon.
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Family and Education
m. by 1423, Mabel, da. and h. of John Vydeler of Barnstaple.1
Like other members of his family, Hoper traded in cloth and imported wine, iron, rosin and wood through the port of Barnstaple, where he belonged to the merchant guild of St. Nicholas. A prominent burgess, he was very active in the affairs of the town for about 40 years, in the course of which he was elected mayor on no fewer than seven occasions. He was one of the townsmen who drew up important borough ordinances in about 1425 and made grants of communal property in 1432, and a few years later he became a trustee of the six tenements granted by John Copplestone* to provide income for repairs to the long bridge. In 1428, when a new prior was admitted to the Cluniac house of St. Mary Magdalen at Barnstaple, Hoper was one of the ‘viri fidedigni de vicineto dicto prioratus’ who were present.4 In the meantime, from 1401 to 1424, he had held property in Boutport Street jointly with another sometime mayor, Henry Redewen. In June 1436 he conveyed to John, son of John Hunt II*, buildings in High Street and Anchor Lane, soon after which, on 10 Oct., occurs his last recorded deed (his attestation of another local conveyance).5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. JUST 1/1536 m. 15.
- 2. CAD, iv. C3869; North Devon Athenaeum, Barnstaple, deeds 440, 472, 536, 937; A5, 8, 11. He was not mayor in 1418 (as stated in Reprint of Barnstaple Recs. ed. Chanter and Wainwright, ii. 187 — see deed 480). Nor had he been receiver in 1394-5 (as stated in Trans. Devon Assoc. lxxi. 259 — see North Devon Athenaeum, 3972, f. 2).
- 3. E368/184 m. 107d, 185 m. 98, 193 m. 99.
- 4. E122/1/1, 40/23; Reprint of Barnstaple Recs. i. 83; ii. 171, 229; North Devon Athenaeum, deeds 487-8; CAD, vi. C4395; Reg. Lacy ed. Hingeston-Randolph, i. 113.
- 5. North Devon Athenaeum, deeds 464, 480, 489-90; C146/3401.